In Brief

England rugby training squad: Danny Cipriani left out, Manu Tuilagi and Chris Ashton in

Pundits ‘baffled’ by Cipriani’s ‘eye-catching omission’ from Jones’s 36-man squad

Danny Cipriani has been left out of Eddie Jones’s 36-man England squad for the training camp taking place in Bristol from Sunday to Tuesday. 

Fly-half Cipriani has impressed for Gloucester this season but was recently convicted of common assault and resisting arrest, The Daily Telegraph reports. He was also fined £4,000 over the incident that took place in Jersey in August.

The Telegraph quotes Jones as saying that the decision to leave out Cipriani was based on form. “That’s the case, 100%. We’ve decided just to have two stand-offs in the squad for this particular camp because we want them to get a lot of training time.

“At the moment we’ve got Owen [Farrell] and George [Ford], who I believe are the first two fly-halves, and then comes Danny.

“Danny’s probably third or fourth choice and he knows what he’s got to work on, which is between Danny and I. He’s disappointed but he understands. He’s desperate to play for England, which is terrific.”

Pundit reaction to Cipriani’s omission

The Guardian’s Gerard Meagher says that the 30-year-old is the most “eye-catching omission” from Jones’s training squad while The Times’ chief rugby correspondent Owen Slot called the decision “baffling”.

Slot writes: “The bottom line is this: Jones has stuck his neck out with the most controversial decision of his tenure. He knows it won’t be popular. He knows it is hard to fathom. But he doesn’t care. It is a case of judgment and he is backing himself all the way.”

Tuilagi and Ashton included

While Cipriani is left out, Jones has named Leicester Tigers centre Manu Tuilagi and Sale Sharks winger Chris Ashton in the 36-man squad. Tuilagi returns to the England fold for the first time in a year while Ashton last played international rugby in 2014.

Ashton’s selection is “not surprising”, says the Guardian’s Meagher, but he is currently serving a seven-week suspension for a tip tackle and “will not have played a competitive match this season” before Jones names his autumn internationals squad on 18 October.

Also included for the Bristol training camp are Danny Care (Harlequins), George Kruis (Saracens), Zach Mercer (Bath) and Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs). Uncapped wingers Nathan Earle (Harlequins) and Joe Cokanasiga (Bath) are also called up.

Moon replaces Marler

It was announced that Harlequins’s Joe Marler has withdrawn from the training squad because of personal reasons. Marler is replaced in the squad by 23-year-old Exeter Chiefs prop Ben Moon.

England training squad
  • Forwards (20): Tom Curry (Sale Sharks), Jamie George (Saracens), Dylan Hartley (Northampton Saints), Nathan Hughes (Wasps), Nick Isiekwe (Saracens), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints), Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Zach Mercer (Bath Rugby), Michael Rhodes (Saracens), Chris Robshaw (Harlequins), Nick Schonert (Worcester Warriors), Brad Shields (Wasps), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens), Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs), Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons)
  • Backs (16): Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks), Mike Brown (Harlequins), Danny Care (Harlequins), Joe Cokanasiga (Bath Rugby), Elliot Daly (Wasps), Nathan Earle (Harlequins), Owen Farrell (Saracens), George Ford (Leicester Tigers), Alex Lozowski (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester Tigers), Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs), Dan Robson (Wasps), Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), Ben Te’o (Worcester Warriors), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers), Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

England’s autumn international fixtures

England vs. South Africa
  • When: Saturday 3 November 
  • Where: Twickenham, London 
  • Kick-off time: 3pm
England vs. New Zealand
  • When: Saturday 10 November 
  • Where: Twickenham, London 
  • Kick-off time: 3pm
England vs. Japan
  • When: Saturday 17 November 
  • Where: Twickenham, London 
  • Kick-off time: 3pm
England vs. Australia
  • When: Saturday 24 November 
  • Where: Twickenham, London 
  • Kick-off time: 3pm

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